Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Quote(s) of the Day: "Lost Tribes," Codices, and the Jewish Jesus

Some interesting recent links from BAR:

The Ten Tribes of Israel Aren’t Lost (and never were)

Archaeologist, award-winning auther, and department chair at George Washington University, Dr. Eric Cline gave a presentation summarized as follows:
Speculating on the whereabouts of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel has been popular for longer than the search for the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail. Suggestions for where they ended up have ranged from America and Britain to India and Africa, and virtually every place in between. However, few proper investigations of this “mystery” have been conducted. Now, utilizing three separate and completely independent sources—the Biblical account, the contemporary Neo-Assyrian inscriptions, and the archaeological remains from both the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah—it can be confidently shown that the Ten Tribes of Israel were never lost.
The Power of the Codex
Sometime in the first few centuries C.E., the first bound books—termed codices—revolutionized the way people read the words of prophets, kings, scribes and thinkers. . . In an article for the New York Times Sunday Book Review, author and book critic Lev Grossman reflects on the remarkable technological shift that occurred nearly 2,000 years ago and whether the growing popularity of e-readers will mark a similar shaft in how we read.
 A great quote from Grossman's article:
Something very important and very weird is happening to the book right now: It’s shedding its papery corpus and transmigrating into a bodiless digital form, right before our eyes. We’re witnessing the bibliographical equivalent of the rapture.

Was Jesus a Jew?

The answer, of course, is yes.  Anthony J. Saldarini writes quite powerfully:
To wrench Jesus out of his Jewish world destroys Jesus and destroys Christianity, the religion that grew out of his teachings. Even Jesus’ most familiar role as Christ is a Jewish role. If Christians leave the concrete realities of Jesus’ life and of the history of Israel in favor of a mythic, universal, spiritual Jesus and an otherworldly kingdom of God, they deny their origins in Israel, their history, and the God who has loved and protected Israel and the church. They cease to interpret the actual Jesus sent by God and remake him in their own image and likeness. The dangers are obvious. If Christians violently wrench Jesus out of his natural, ethnic and historical place within the people of Israel, they open the way to doing equal violence to Israel, the place and people of Jesus. This is a lesson of history that haunts us all at the end of the 20th century.


Anonymous said...

I'll have to click the links and read when my brain is more awake, but I particularly liked the Anthony J. Saldarini quote. I keep praying that someday the church (and even a number of "Gentile Messianics") will "get it".


Jon said...

That is a great quote by Saldarini. To remove Jesus from Israel is to effectively eliminate his messiahship.
If he is not the messiah there FIRST (and everything that goes along with being the messiah of Israel), then he cannot be the messiah anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Well that's too bad. In order to find out Eric Cline's views on the "lost" ten tribes, I have to the 14th Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest in San Francisco in November. Alas, not in my money or time budget.


Yahnatan said...


I share your sentiments. Often presentations like this become articles and/or books--I'm kinda hoping that'll be the case with Dr. Cline's work in this area.


digmegiddo said...

As it happens, the material used in the presentation can be found in the final chapter of my book, entitled From Eden to Exile: Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible (Nat Geo Books, 2007). Cheers, Eric H. Cline